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Old 03-12-2010, 12:42 PM   #1
ryanjv
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Cluster light caps melted

About 2 months ago i replaced the bulbs in my gauges because i missed seeing how much gas i had and how fast i was going at night. couple weeks ago they died out on me already. i finally had time to open it up today to change the bulbs and i guess they got too hot.

When i tried to twist the bulb holder and pull it out i felt a break and out comes the holder, look in the hole and the orange plastic had melted onto the bulb. has that ever happened to anyone? i guess i got the wrong bulbs, but crappy tire had two brands of bulbs there that would fit and they had the same rating

does anyone have an extra cluster laying around? it doesn't have to work, i was just going to take the little caps out. or do you think i should just leave them out, giving me a white glow. with no plastic there, there's nothing to melt






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Old 03-12-2010, 02:38 PM   #2
everlast
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There is lots of other amber plastic to make the amber glow.. try it without and see what it looks like. I've been curious about that.

If you are ambitious you could stick in some large amber LEDs.

Edit: BTW the pictures with the screen with its own picture on it ****ed my head up for a second, thanks.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:46 PM   #3
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anytime.

i threw in new bulbs without the plastic. it's still pretty orange. so i probably won't put replacement bits of plastic in. I was thinking of doing LED's, i still might. I've already replaced all the other bulbs with LED's (ashtrays, center dash, clock, etc) and it worked out pretty nice.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:55 PM   #4
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The plastic melted because someone put a too strong watt bulb in. Be careful you don't gradually melt the circuit board. I had the same problem with my car when I bought it. they were melted. so I replaced the amber bulb covers from a used cluster.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:04 PM   #5
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IIRC we should be using 2w bulbs in the cluster and most bulbs in the parts stores around here are 5w.

I wouldn't go LED only because their light ouput is so crappy; the cluster will barely be lit up. I have LEDs in my fogs now and they basically just colour match my headlights and look pretty. The only reason I leave them there is because I really don't need that extra light output they provide.

If you do end up trying LEDs in there and they work well post some pics up! I Would love if i could get my cluster to be a slightly darker shade of red.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:14 PM   #6
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LED light output is crappy if you get crappy LED's. The super brights that i used in my jacket (yeah i have a jacket with lights), were really bright (20,000MCD). i ended up using them instead of replacing the bulbs in the dash console. its more than bright enough, its almost too bright, because turning the light dial up or down doesn't really change it. but now i got a nice red glow in my car at night. going to make a couple LED strips to replace the bulbs in the ceiling lights as well. i knew my elec eng degree would come in handy.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:29 PM   #7
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Some LEDs are quite good.. I toyed with the idea of using 3 5mm 120 degree 1500mcd LEDs for each side.

One serious problem is the dimmer (and that's the reason I didn't procede). Light dimmers are linear with voltage on a normal bulb, but drop of more rapidly with an LED, so when you dim the dash, the main lights would go out almost right away.

My E90 uses a PWM dimmer module for the external lights to fade them in and out when you unlock the car, because of the LEDs used in the license plate lights.

edit: Lulz, I was late pressing the post button haha. If you're an elec eng you don't need us!!
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:30 AM   #8
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Hi Ryan,

I've got an old cluster you can have. I don't know if it will help, but if you still have your parts car in the garage, I'll come by and drop it off. I may need a couple of small parts anyway if they're still available...lol
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:17 AM   #9
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Thanks Brent, but i don't think i'll be replacing those pieces anymore. i'll leave it as is, then probably remove all the other amber bits so i can throw in red LED's later on when i have more time. Parts car is gone, but i pulled off a ridiculous amount of stuff, so just let me know what you need and i'll see if i still have it.
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